Get All Access for $5/mo

She Wanted Better Lash Extensions, So She Made Her Own -- and Then Built an International Franchise With more than 180 locations, the founders share their secrets to success.

By Nina Zipkin

This story appears in the May 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Emily Shur

That old adage that beauty is pain? Jessica Le doesn't buy it. After suffering through a costly four-hour eyelash-extension procedure in 2010, Le, a cosmetology graduate, set out to build a better system. Eventually she developed four lightweight lash styles that could be applied quickly using a minimal amount of adhesive -- taking just one hour of work, and costing less than $100. Along with her husband, Edward, she opened the first Amazing Lash Studio later that year. By 2013 the couple was operating three locations in the Houston area and set out to franchise. Today they have more than 180 locations across the U.S., opening between four and 10 new franchises every month. The key to success, as Jessica sees it, is to keep innovating, keep educating franchisees and keep giving customers more for less.

Related: The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

What did you do after that four-hour eyelash application, when you thought there had to be a better way to do this?

Jessica: I took a training class to figure out how the process worked, and afterward started testing and coming up with my own technique. It took months of practice.

Edward: In 2010, getting lash extensions was a service for the rich and famous. Jessica understood that being in a salon for hours -- especially for women who have kids -- just wasn't feasible. She came up with a faster, safer process and patented the method.

Related: 5 Affordable Restaurant Franchises You Can Start for 5 Figures

What was it like getting the brand off the ground?

Edward: The challenge was how to become a leader in the industry. We weren't the first, but we wanted to become the best-known eyelash company in the country. We had to build our own infrastructure, and for two people who don't have experience with franchising, I think we did a good job. We private-label our own products. We developed back-end software for our franchisees to help them more easily build their businesses, providing a checklist to help them along the way. We wanted them to know they weren't going into the business alone.

Especially in beauty, trends come and go pretty rapidly. How are you making sure this brand has long-term success in the market?

Jessica: Every year there's something new in beauty. I know that as founders, we're always thinking about how to take Amazing Lash to the next level. We started with individual lashes, and now we offer volume lashes, which is a new technology everyone wants to try, and we've again come up with our own technique and taught our franchisees. I'm also always thinking about how we can help people in our community. I want women to feel good about themselves, and I also want to make sure we're creating a lot of jobs. So it's about staying on top of trends in the industry and making sure we're always building, on both the professional and the consumer sides.

Related: How Two Young Sisters Are Proving Themselves in the World of Franchising

How do you identify franchisees who will be a good fit with Amazing Lash?

Edward: We are always looking for someone who understands that they are coming in here to work with us. We want people with a passion for beauty -- some potential franchisees come in for meetings and already have lashes on. That is what we're looking for. Jessica didn't build this just to make money; she wants to provide beauty to every woman.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Sony Pictures Entertainment Purchases Struggling, Cult-Favorite Movie Theater Chain

Alamo Drafthouse originally emerged from bankruptcy in June 2021.

Business News

You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch

The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.